2014 HR Trends: Hyper-employment Overwhelming Today’s Employees

overwhelmed employeeToday, we are so connected that 75% of Americans have admitted to using their smartphones in the bathroom. Mobile now accounts for 12% of media consumption time with the average American spending 158 minutes per day on their phone. To say we are hyper-connected is a bit of an understatement, and the trend of being accessible by their devices 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year has employees feeling pressured to be available to their coworkers and bosses all the time.

The Atlantic recently coined the term “hyper-employment” to describe this trend. Yet, in the recent HCM trends report from Deloitte, nearly 75% of employees said — despite being constantly connected — they still cannot find the information they need within their organization’s information systems. Deloitte estimates this frenetic level of inefficient connectedness is costing mid-size companies as much as $10 million per year. Ouch.

We’re placing higher value on employees “being busy,” constantly available and overworked every day. And it’s not improving performance. In fact, it’s distracting and making employees feel overworked and anxious about their jobs.

Beyond that, the hyper-employed are asking for new demands out of the corporate technology they use because of the way they feel about their overwhelming level of connection and expectation. The recent report from Deloitte noted that people are no longer expecting more features from their enterprise technology, but are requiring that their corporate technology be simplified as close to “one click” or consumer technology standards.

Deloitte recommends several tips to get started showing your employees you care as much or more about respecting their time as you do about respecting your customers’ time:

  • Executives and leadership can set the standard by deliberately avoiding being accessible to email and phone calls at night or on weekends — if employees feel they aren’t expected or appreciated at a disproportionate level for being accessible at odd hours, they are more likely to disconnect.

  • Offer the option to work from home or within a flexible schedule — allow your employees to save time, money, and energy on their commute.

  • Support “email free” times

  • Use effective and efficient collaboration tools

  • Encourage productive, efficient meetings

How do you manage overwhelmed employees in your organization? Do you support employees when they need to disconnect or are there silent demands on your team to be accessible 24/7?